The Nigerian Government and some States in the country have agreed to set up cattle ranches. These will take effect in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara States. The ranches are aimed at bringing an end to the crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the affected states.
The agreement was reached on Tuesday in Abuja at the unveiling of the National Economic Council’s National Livestock Transformation Plan as part of efforts to end clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
Presenting the plan, the Secretary of the NEC Sub-Committee, Dr. Andrew Kwasari said the Nigerian government will spend N70bn in the first three years of the pilot phase of the programme.
Kwasari disclosed that N179bn would be spent over a period of 10 years on the national livestock implementation.
Addressing journalists, Kwasari said, 10 states in pilot phase of the programme include, Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.
He said, “The National Livestock Implementation Plan is a mediation stemming from meetings and recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and NEC in 2017 as regards state interventions following the incessant pastoralist-farmer conflicts.
“A ranch design has also been proposed in models of various sizes clustered in 94 locations in the 10 pilot states.”
He noted that the government planned transformation of pastoralism to ranching “to reduce the struggle for common resources.”
Stating that governors and private entities of the frontline states had donated land for the establishment of pilot ranches, Kawasari noted that there would be ranch models of 30, 60, 150 and 300 cows in a location within grazing reserves.
He said, “Based on the carrying capacity of each of the model ranches above, as determined by pasture and fodder yields, land is allocated for pasture production.”
Kwasari said the government would engage the private sector and other countries “to work with Nigerian research institutes in developing national cattle breeds for dairy and beef production over a 10 years period.”
He added, “The plan envisages cross-breeding scheme with the exotic semen of Brahman on Sokoto/Adamawa Guadli for beef cattle, while Holstein Friesian/Jersey will be used to cross-breed Bunaji.”